The Temple

November 24, 2019


Listen to this Sermon on YouTube

  

A New Covenant 2019

Temple

Let’s begin in a valley of dry bones with a prophet named… Ezekiel. Instead of reading from Ezekiel 37 we are going to watch it. This video was produced by our 4th, 5th and 6th graders.

Play video of Bones. 

Many of the old prophets used object lessons to speak for God. I prefer to call them action-metaphors. The resurrection of these dry bones is an action-metaphor. It makes a spectacular point. Remember the point of a metaphor is called the… paraphier. God explains the paraphier of the valley of dry bones action-metaphor at the end of the chapter 37. 

The LORD tells Ezekiel…

Ezekiel 37:26-28 “I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."

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All the way back in January, in the first sermon I preached on the New Covenant, I said… “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.”  All God wants is to be with his people. Ezekiel prophecies of a time when God will make an everlasting covenant of peace. God will make his dwelling place with them. God will be with his loving people! The paraphier of the action-metaphor of the dry bones is there will be a time when God dwells with his people who are no longer dry bones but a living army! 

600 years later, the prophecy of the dry bones came into reality. On the Day of Pentecost in the year of 30 AD the dry bones came to life. 

Listen to excerpts of Acts 2…

Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nationunder heaven.

Acts 2:14-19 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them… “This is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”

Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

One that day in AD 30; on the birthday of the church, God, through the Holy Spirit, came to dwell with his people. From that day, until this day, God has dwelt in the temple of his people. We are the dry bones who are alive. We are the sanctuary of God. We are the fulfillment of the action-metaphor of the valley of dry bones! 

That is as cool as anything I have said this year. Hear it again…

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Sanctuaries/Temples are places where gods dwell. Temples are places where people go to meet their gods. Temples are buildings of stone and wood and concrete and glass and gorgeous structures where, throughout the ages, people have gone to contact their, so-called, deities. But the temple, that Ezekiel prophesied, is better than the most magnificent cathedral ever built; way better.

Follow the development of the Temple Concept…

Acts 17:24-28 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “In him we live and move and have our being.”

God does not dwell in stone temples!

Rather, we are the Temple built upon a solid foundation…

Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Each of us are stones in the dwelling place for God.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.

Each of us, as mini-temples, form a congregational temple; a congo-temple.

1 Corinthians 3:9-17For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.  According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ… Do you not know that you (y’all) are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you (y’all) are that temple.

In his temple we offer sacrifices.

1 Peter 2:4-10 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

--Each of us are mini-temples… Which form the congo-temple… That we may proclaim his excellencies! BAM!

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We have explored a variety of ways to understand the New Covenant… 

Family… is focused on bonds of relationships; God is our Father!

Servant… who asks what should I do? God is our Master!

Kingdom… which advances against evil. Jesus rules at the right hand of God!  

Bride… who is adored by her fiancé. Christ is preparing us for the marriage feast.

Body… which works together to grow in love. Christ is the Head. 

But a temple is different sort of thing. A temple is a place to be with God. A temple is a connection to God. A temple is a place of worship! A temple is a place to proclaim his excellencies! We are the temple of God to unleash our adoration. We the place where we can praise Him without reservation. We are the temple of the living God, not build with hands!  

There are many places of worship in our world…

--We are moved to worship him on the top of 14,000 ft. mountain; grandeur.

--We are called to worship when at the ocean; or in the ocean; variety.

--We sing to him in the woods, or meadows, or at sunset, or fresh snow; beauty.

--We touch him when we hold a newborn; life.

--There are altars to YHWH all over the world.

But there is something special, something pure, something holy, something unique, when we gather as his Temple to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

We are the dry bones called to be the living sanctuary! We are a place of living worship.

Once again… BAM!

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Take Temple Test

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Let’s take a sneak peek into the future. No day there will be no temple…

Revelation 21:22-26 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day- and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

One day, God will dwell with his people without a temple. One day, we will walk with the Lord and with the Lamb in the cool of the evening. 


Tim Stidham

November 24, 2019

Los Alamos Church of Christ 

  

Temple Test

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being… NOT ME and 10 being… EXACTLY ME…

1) When I pray, I praise God. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

2) I often thank God for his blessings. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

3) I think of myself as a conduit of blessings; both ways. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

4) When I see other Christians, I wonder what their worship is like.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

5) I view our time together as synergized worship.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

6) Wrong is ignoring God. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

7) We should proclaim God more.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

8) My purity is important to my worship.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

9) I view my worship to God as the most important thing.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

10) This sermon has been meaningful to me.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

Total __________